We can all agree that during hot summer days it’s a good idea to account for the heat and stay safe from the sun.  The same rules apply for our friendly, furry domestic companions. Luckily, there are more than a handful of ways to look out for our canine counterparts when the temperatures shoot up.

One of the simplest ways to make sure your dogs beat the heat is known as the “Five Second Rule”.  No, this is different from the “rule” that lets you feel better about eating something off the floor.  Press your hand against the surface of the ground before taking them for a walk. If you struggle to hold your hand against the pavement for more than five seconds, odds are your pooch will be vulnerable to paw damage and heat stroke.  

Just like humans, some dogs are more susceptible to certain conditions than others.  All brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dog breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs are more at risk for heat stroke because of their smaller nasal passages.  Obese, elderly and dogs with considerably thick coats are more sensitive to warmer temperatures as well.

On the contrary, breeds with thinner coats are much more adept for hotter weather (Beagles, Dalmatians, Chihuahuas, etc).  Breeds that originate in hot climates, and breeds meant for racing tend to thrive in the heat. The long snouts allow the air to cool down, as their larger lungs proportionately distribute oxygen throughout the body (Greyhounds and Pharaoh Hounds).

You can help combat mother nature’s heat by simply walking your dog at a strategic time of the day.  Early mornings and late evenings naturally provide cooler temperatures and more shade. You should never risk walking your dog when the sun is blazing full throttle.  

While you’re out on the walk, there’s a handful of stuff you can do to keep your best friend as cool as The Fonz.  Bringing a collapsible water bowl on the walk is a perfect way to make sure your pup gets all the water breaks they need. You should also be conscious of the surface your dog is walking on.  Blacktops and concrete surfaces can reach up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, and could be extremely dangerous. To be extra safe, you can also buy your pup a pair of all terrain boots to prepare them for any type of weather you may come across.

If you have the resources to make it happen, a pool is a fantastic way to help your pet cool off.  Make sure you keep an eye on your dog in the pool, even if they’re proven swimmers. Even if your dog isn’t a regular Bark Spitz, a small pool of water for them to wade into would certainly hit the spot.  Worst comes to worst, even wrapping your dog in some cold, wet towels can do the trick.   

All jokes aside, the Summer months can be extremely dangerous for your dog without taking the proper precautions.  But with the right amount of dedication and care, summertime can provide countless memories and endless fun for you and your dog.